How to Clean Your Microwave: The Best Ways to a Clean Microwave

By Laura Parker
October 14, 2020

House cleaning woman is wiping microwave oven picture id859735386

It doesn't take much for a microwave to go from squeaky clean to a splattered mess. Just one uncovered plate of spaghetti or Chinese leftovers is enough to do some damage.


You might overlook cleaning your microwave because it's such a small, easily forgettable appliance. You might even think it requires a lot of elbow grease.


Fortunately, you can follow these simple steps and use these readily available cleaning products to eliminate that mystery gunk from your microwave.


Cleaning inside the microwave

You may be tempted to hire an affordable maid service to help clean up messes such as this around your place. Learning how to clean your microwave, though, is actually really simple.


Here are some fast, easy-to-implement suggestions:


Technique #1

  • Fill a microwave-safe bowl with about a cup of water and a chopped-up lemon. Don't have any lemons in the house? A lime, orange or a few tablespoons of vinegar can do the trick.
  • Place the bowl inside and run the microwave on high for a few minutes. The telling sign you've put it in for enough time is when the bowl's contents begin to boil or when the window starts to steam up.
  • Before you open the microwave door, let the warm water bowl cool for about 15 minutes. Once this time has passed, take out the bowl and wipe the inside with a paper towel or sponge.


Technique #2

  • Cut a lemon in half. Put these halves down on a microwaveable plate that has a tiny layer of water.
  • Run the microwave on high. You only need to run the microwave for about a minute for the microwave to get steamy.
  • Wipe down the interior. Remove the plate and lemon halves and wipe down the inside of the appliance with a sponge, clean cloth or paper towel. You can even reuse the lemon as a garbage disposal cleaning solution if you cut them into little pieces and flush them down with some water.


Technique #3

  • Fill a microwave-safe bowl with warm water and dishwashing liquid. You don't need much dish soap, but it's safe to eyeball your guess.
  • Run the microwave for about a minute. Once you can see steam on the window of your microwave, you'll know it's ready.
  • Wipe down the inside. The steam mixed with the dishwashing liquid does a great job of loosening the mess so it's simple to clean off. You can add baking soda after to neutralize the strong scent.

Woman putting bowl of slice lemon in microwave oven picture id928088944

Cleaning the inside and outside of your microwave isn’t as difficult as it may seem.


If you can still smell overcooked food or burnt popcorn after cleaning out the inside of your microwave, try using a combination of water and baking soda. One cup of water to two tablespoons of baking soda should do the trick. Microwave this solution for about two minutes, then wipe out the inside of the appliance.


To further diminish the smell, you can microwave one teaspoon of lemon juice and a cup of water in a microwave-safe cup for another two minutes, then wipe down the glass tray and rest of the inside and leave the microwave door open to air out the lemon scent.


Cleaning the microwave door

If you don't like getting your hands dirty, you might not enjoy cleaning the grease off the door of your microwave. However, it needs to be done to keep germs and bacteria away from your appliance and to have it looking nice and tidy.


  • Clean the rubber gasket with a water-soaked sponge only. It's essential that you don't use any other type of cleaner on this part of the microwave.
  • Use a mixture of white vinegar and water on the window. This part of your microwave can handle the deep-cleaning power of vinegar. Use a half vinegar-half water solution for the best results. Once you finish wiping it down, dry it with a dish towel.


Tidying up the exterior

This is the part of your microwave that your guests notice when they enter your kitchen. You'll want to keep it clean so it looks great on the outside and prevents pests, like ants, from raiding your kitchen.


  • Use an all-purpose cleaner on the exterior. Make sure you spray the cleaner directly onto the cloth or sponge you are using to wipe off the outside, as spraying directly onto the microwave can cause some cleaner to get inside the vent holes.


Wash the removable pieces

Before you clean the removable parts of your microwave, like the turntable, you'll want to read the appliance manual to make sure you are cleaning it properly. You can wash your turntable by hand with dish soap or in the dishwasher, if the manual says it's okay, then dry it off before placing it back into the microwave.


Make a habit of cleaning your microwave

Nobody wants to give themselves extra chores, naturally. Having said that, it's important to note that the more often you clean this appliance, the easier it will be to clean next time. You might want to wipe down your microwave every few days to prevent a layer of grime from sticking to the inside or outside of the appliance.


Not only will your microwave look nice and clean, but it will also prevent a buildup of germs and bacteria. According to Tonic, microwaving certain foods can attract a lot of bacteria. If you're heating up your leftover chicken breast, you might notice that parts of the chicken don't heat through all the way.


Believe it or not, bacteria from inside your microwave thrive in these cold areas. Cleaning your microwave regularly will decrease the number of bacteria in the area in the first place so you don't have to worry as much about these nasty contaminants.


Cleaning the inside and outside of your microwave isn't as time-consuming or inconvenient as many people think it is. For the trickier places to clean, Handy can offer some assistance.


Handy offers an excellent house cleaning service that allows you to schedule a housekeeper to arrive at a time that makes the most sense to your schedule. Handy's service allows you to get instant, competitive pricing, and simple rescheduling abilities. The professionals on Handy are reliable, experienced, flexible and very good at what they do, so you won't have to lift a finger.

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